about Maggie Ayres

As a mixed media artist, I find my practice is continually developing as I discover and explore working with new techniques and materials, ever focused on expressing my passion for texture, line and light.

Central to all my work is the notion of mark making. Whether it is a trailed line of ink from a delightfully scratchy bamboo nib, a rusted metal print on paper or torn reclaimed cloth, or quickly cut scalpel lines on a beeswax and resin ground, these are my working beginnings.

I express words, thoughts, emotions and memories through visible marks. These become the residues of experience made visual by whatever medium I choose to work in. They are the starting points for personal narratives I choose to relate.

Inevitably as we live, we leave evidence of our presence. Marks remaining bear witness to our being and tell abstract stories of our lives.

For the past few years I have been exploring the dynamic art of encaustics, painting with a medium made from melting beeswax with tree resin. Working layer upon layer, I build up numerous translucent layers on wooden panels, creating unusual visual depths as incorporated mark and colour build.

Materials such as silk fibres and dyed threads, fragments of hand-stitched cloth, rust fragments and hand-printed papers can be embedded in the wax with finely layered additions of oil paint, graphite powder or ground chalk pastels. Texture is created.

I love both the immediacy of this medium, working quickly when the wax is molten and is moving beneath my blowtorch, and also the rhythmic slowness of repeating processes as the work develops. Here are combined both the preciseness of an incised line magically revealed as oil paint is rubbed over and the glowing mistiness as wax and heat combine across the setting surface.